How to Order Hand Crafted Custom Furniture

If you're new to purchasing custom built hand made furniture, the ordering and design process can seem a bit confusing. I've put together a simple 5 point checklist to help you get started.

  1. You should have a relatively good idea of what you're looking for, and be able to describe in a few words. IE: A traditional coffee table, a traditional hardwood coffee table, an entertainment unit for a 60 inch flat screen TV, a modern computer work station.

  2. Next, get together any images, videos, drawing that illustrate either design details, finish, size, etc.

  3. Set up a phone design-consultation via email ( This gives us a chance to talk in real time, and fine tune your ideas.

  4. I go to work on a sample design and provide you with an estimate.

  5. You either okay the design and pricing, or we make changes.

TV Stand
Dining Table
End Table
Night Stand





*Please note, traditional joinery using select hardwoods, will result in a finer piece at a higher price point

Chasing Perfection

It's not been an uncommon theme in my life - the pursuit of perfection. And maybe not always the most stress-free way to approach things, but some of us really have little choice, chasing perfection just feels natural.

Of course, a chase is what it is. We all know perfection is a relative concept, and something that can never really be achieved. Wood will always have some level of imperfection, as it can change on an almost daily basis. My job is to make all of that invisible. I could probably continue to tweak a piece for months that was already fit for the showroom floor. At a certain point, it's a matter of how powerful the magnifying glass.

For my customers, it's a win-win. I don't charge people for my obsession with perfection. I formulate an estimate based on acceptable level of relatively imperceptible blemishes that I chase away on my own time.

The Art of the Estimate

It happens all the time. The potential customer sees a piece of furniture thy love, come to me to have it custom built, then balk at the price. Unfortunately, modern furniture is made from mostly laminates and particle board on CNS machines, very far from what I do. Most stuff is not built to last, or hold the deep rich finish of a seasoned hardwood.

Solid hardwoods are not cheap. I just built a 36 x 36 inch coffee table in walnut and material was about $400. I logged in about 25 hours to build it, not counting design time. At a conservative rate of $40 an hour, we arrive at a total $1000 in labor plus $400 in material, for a grand total of $1400.

For that price this is what the customer gets.

  • My one-of-a-kind, and totally unique, farmhouse design
  • Solid hardwood, in this case black walnut and figured maple
  • The use of fine joinery throughout the piece (mortise / tenon)
  • A professionally applied tried and true finish buffed to a satin sheen
  • My personal guarantee of long lasting excellence

Please remember this when ordering custom furniture built from solid hardwood. The stuff in furniture display rooms around the country is mostly NOT that. While it's nice to get an idea of your design browsing around, you need to take material and design into account, and not expect the same price as a CNS generated, particle board, mass produced piece of furniture.

Farmhouse Coffee Table

This "Farmhouse Coffee Table" is my original, one-of-a-kind design. It combines the rustic look of farmhouse furniture with the modern appeal of a refined, hand made piece. Sitting square at 36" x 36", the table features a solid walnut top and maple platform. The signature beefy legs and slatted bottom shelf create a visually appealing design that is beautiful, functional, and will last a lifetime. No plywood or particle board here. Solid hardwood, fine joinery, reasonable price.


Please contact me any time by email if interested.

Be sure to mention the Farmhouse Coffee Table. I'm also available for customized furniture orders of any kind.

Mike Stefano
Wood Works of Long Island

About Wood Works

Welcomes friends, fans, past, present, and future customers. I'm Mike Stefano, and my passion in life is building furniture using centuries old techniques, combined with a modern flare, the results can be pure magic. But before a board hits the table saw, you need a sound, interesting and practical design to bring to life whatever piece of furniture you're thinking of; coffee table, desk, vanity, night stand, hanging and free standing cabinets, media center, tv stand, chest of drawers, end table, or wardrobe.

Whatever is on your mind, I can capture and design a piece around it that will be aesthetically pleasing and last a life time. I'll use tried and true joinery and select hardwoods, and give you several options on design, materials, finish, and pricing.

I have a small, but fully equipped shop on Long Island, in Seaford. Once we've made all design decisions, I head out to select the lumber for your project, and finally get to work.

Please contact me today so we can get started planning your project.